Thursday, August 22, 2019

At The Court Martial: Soldiers Give Testimony


By Yankuba Jallow

Staff Sergeant, Amadou Tamba and Warrant Officer Second Class Maila Jobe, on Monday December 3rd, testified before the General Court-Martial in Yundum.

The accused persons WO1 Sulayman S. Badjie and Lance Corporal Private Lamin Kujabi, both officers of the Gambia Armed Force (GAF), are charged with incitement to mutiny, conspiracy to commit mutiny and endeavor to persuade members of GAF to take part in mutiny.

In his statement, Maila Jobe told the Court-Martial that he is a senior to the second accused person. He described his relation to the 2nd accused person as a boss and his subordinate.

Jobe had earlier told the Court-Martial that he is attached to the 4th Infantry Battalion and is a resident of Busumbala; that he went for a United Nation’s Mission in Darfur with the 2nd accused person, from the 6th of March 2017, to the 7th of April 2018. He said the 2nd accused person was working at the GAF Headquarters as Clerk.

“I communicate with the second accused person on phone. I remember sometime in July 2017, he sent me a text message on WhatsApp, informing me of his change of line. Since then, we have been communicating through that new line. That is all I know about the second accused person,” he testified.

“Is it correct that your name was published by the accused person for punishment, for failing to do your duty whilst you were in Darfur,” asked Lawyer O. Suso.

The witness responded in the positive saying he was the one who published his name but he did it under instruction.

“Do you have other forms of communication in Darfur different from WhatsApp?” asked Suso.

The witness replied in the affirmative.

Lawyer Suso put it to the witness that his evidence that he does communicate with the 2nd accused person on WhatsApp, was incorrect, but was done out of vengeance.

“What was the WhatsApp number you were using in Darfur?” Suso asked.

The witness in his reply, said he used his Africell number whilst in Darfur; that this was the line he used to communicate with the 2nd accused person; that he still uses the same number.

“I am putting it to you that you know nothing about this case,” Suso pressed the witness.

“I know nothing about the WhatsApp group (True Friends),” the witness answered.

Earlier, the first prosecution witness Staff Sergeant Amadou Tamba, told the Court-Martial that he knows the first accused person; that when he realised that the 1st accused person cannot properly call the ‘adhan’ (muslim call to prepare), he decided to send him an audio via Whatsapp.

The matter was adjourned till today for continuation of hearing of the final witness for the prosecution.

Lead Counsel for the prosecution MB Abubakar, told the Court-Martial that the State intends to file a motion for additional witnesses; that they have extra six witnesses to call, before the Court. He asked the Court to adjourn the matter to another date, different from today.

Justice Zainabou Jawara Alami told the prosecution that the accused persons have a right and that the matter should be given speedy trial.

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